This year, she Emailed it right back to me on my fortieth. Touche!
Well, here goes....(with some editing to go from Email to Blog)
".....In any case. Life, they say, begins at 40. It had better. I've been looking forward to starting my own life at 40 for some time now, so don't turn around and tell me that nothing has changed.
"Yes, 40 should herald the end of all self doubts - after all you've survived this far! And you're definitely past the half-way mark now so its all downhill from here. The kids are at school, you're settled in your ways, there are people who irritate but you've learned to adapt or to ignore them, there are news items that disturb but you've been around long enough that they have become a bit of background noise. Yes, for better or for worse you've seen it all and lived to tell the tale - things should go easier now.
"And here's another good thing about being 40. If you ever had any wild ambitions about flying to the moon or starting a career in the movies or something else totally alien to your nature, you can finally realize and accept that its too late for that. And, assuming you had them, with all these distractions out of the way you can focus on the things that you really like - whether anyone else likes that or not - you're too old to care about their opinions and are ready to do your own thing.
"I've been looking forward to 40 for some time. The 30s are so awkward - you're not young and fresh - and not quite old and wise either !! So 40 is like graduation - let the celebrations begin !"